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He Was Not Broken

I was given communion in an intimate gathering and I was asked to say, “This is His body broken for you,” as I offered the bread to my neighbor. I just couldn’t say it. I don’t like to be rebellious or anything, but my heart could not say those words when Psalm 34:20 says, He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken, and Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12 specifically told the partakers of the Passover meal not to break the bones of the lamb. John 19:36 says, These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: Not one of his bones will be broken. So I said to my neighbor, “This is His body which was given for you.”

Now it wasn’t like the others who said, “This is His body which wasbroken for you,” were doing anything wrong. They were fully receiving themeaning of what communion is about—a grateful remembrance of what Christdid on the Cross for us. They also weren’t saying, “These are Hisbones that were broken for you,” which would have been in direct contradictionto Scripture. In fact, the statement made could be true in the sense that Hisheart was broken for you and His heart was contained within His body. I’msure there were many other physical parts of His body that were broken in theprocess of crucifixion, but there was one thing we know for sure and that isthat His bones were not broken. That is a fact. That was important. That is importantfor us to remember!

Why? Have you ever asked yourself why it was so important that Jesus’ boneswere not broken? Why did God absolutely guarantee that Jesus Christ would notbreak a bone on that cross? It was customary when the Romans were through makinga mockery and a sensation of criminals during a crucifixion to break the bonesof the criminals to hasten the death process and get the whole thing over with.When the criminals’ bones were broken, they could no longer push up ontheir feet to allow air into their lungs. That day, it was the Jews who askedPilate to break the bones of the criminals so that their bodies would be deadand taken down before their Holy Day. John 19:33-34 tells us that they brokethe bones of the two criminals, and when they came to Jesus they saw that Hewas already dead; to confirm this fact, they pierced His side. God purposed thatHis Son would be pierced for our sins, but never on this earth would He allowHis Son’s bones to be broken.

I’m sure you are waiting for me to give some sound theological reason thatHis bones were not broken. I don’t have an answer except to say that itis important to notice this. I want to notice it. I want to celebrate it. I wantto ponder it.

In my pondering I have had a few thoughts. God the Father sent His beloved Sonin Whom He was well pleased to die for our transgressions. He was willing forHis Son to be mocked, rejected, beaten, inhumanely treated and ultimately sufferone of the most heinous deaths that mankind could think of, but He was unwillingunder any circumstances for His dearly beloved Son’s bones to be broken.Was this one act to keep us from the utter despair of our sin against Jesus?Was this His sign that in the midst of this grand chaos He is still in controland nothing that was done was done without His foreknowledge and His willingness?Does it explain that if God was not willing the crucifixion could never havehappened? Was it God’s one comfort for Himself? Did He allow the immensesuffering His Son endured on our behalf except the torture of a broken bone?

I’m really not sure. But I want to be sure to wonder. I want to be sureto remember. I want to be sure to celebrate that in all that Jesus suffered forme. I can be blessed that not one of His bones was broken.

 

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